Photo St. Vincent
posted by February 23 at 9:04 PMon
By Blush Photo.
posted by February 23 at 7:30 PMon
Ever. It’s not funny anymore. I don’t think it ever was. Thank you.
posted by February 23 at 7:17 PMon
Last weekend, I set out to pick up a handful of albums and say my goodbyes to Fremont’s Sonic Boom. Here on Line Out, comments regarding the closing of the store were met with a variety of responses. There were the expected laments, but also a few bouts of cynicism implying that record buying is somehow on par with renting VHS tapes or having a land-line home phone number. What a shame… I love buying records, and judging from the amount of customers at Sonic Boom on Monday, I’m inclined to think a healthy percentage of Seattleites feel the same. But rather than dwelling on the loss of a beloved outpost of musical wares, I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight a local business that’s still alive and kickin’. Whenever I start to feel unimpressed or bored with the current crop of music being discussed in glossy magazines and publicist-driven websites, I know I can find something to renew my interest at Wall of Sound. Situated at 315 E. Pine Street on Capitol Hill, Wall of Sound is the kind of shop where I always manage to discover records I never even knew existed. I’m still kicking myself for missing the opportunity last fall to buy their vinyl bootleg of Jim Jones’ last recorded sermon (hand numbered edition of 913: one for every person that died at Jonestown).
I was curious to see how Jeffery Taylor, the bearded guru typically found manning the counter, viewed the climate in today’s music industry.
First off, could you elaborate on the history of the record store? I know it’s a tedious question, especially when there’s already a brief blurb on your website about it, but I’m more interested in the personnel behind the store and the initial impetus for WoS.
Wall Of Sound started in 1990 inside the Art In Form bookstore on the corner of 2nd and Bell. Two guys started it (Mark Sullo and Eric Hoffman) because they had a passion for music and sound that was a bit outside of the mainstream. It was just one little wall of the shop with tapes and LPs (hence Wall of Sound) and they carried all sorts of weird and cool sounds that NO ONE was carrying in town.
How has the Internet age affected WoS? Has the general industry drop in CD sales been apparent at the store, or do you think the increased exposure of peripheral music has drawn more people to your store?
It has affected us in the same way it has affected countless other small indie record shops. We have experienced the same downturn in CD sales that the entire industry has. With easy access to the glut of free music on the Internet it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a steady consumer base. While it has been more difficult for us in the last 5 or 6 years, we do have a faithful core clientele and we hope to continue to add to the list of Wall Of Sound fans and customers. We have no advertising budget to speak of and rely on word of mouth or maybe a mention in the press every now and again for one of our events. We send out weekly emails with new reviews and other info which also serves as a reminder “hey folks, we’re still here, stop by for a visit!”
The following is a quote from a commenter on Slog regarding the Sonic Boom closure; “OMG, a record store is going out of business!!! Oh wait - that happens all the time, because we have the Internet now. Anybody running a record store now who doesn’t expect to be forced into shutting down in the next 5 years should be given a Gold Star for Baseless Optimism.” Well, we’d like our gold star now please.
posted by February 23 at 3:23 PMon
Photos by Morgan Keuler.
Photos by Morgan Keuler.
(More of his photos and my review of the whole show will be posted later today—I’m still trying to gather my thoughts after Mouth of the Architect blew my brain out of the back of my skull.[Helm’s Alee were fantastic, by the way.])
posted by February 23 at 3:00 PMon
Tonight is the third and final round of Sound Off semi-finals featuring Deer City, Kusikia, Shotty, and Man Down Medic. Here’s a little more info about each band from this week’s Underage:
Deer City is a name you may already be familiar with, as the Issaquah kid’s gotten a couple mentions in The Stranger lately. Deer City’s Jeff Stillwell is a talented, one-man, teenaged band armed with a gamut of keyboards, drum machines, and other noisy toys. His thoughtful electro-pop tunes have the honesty of a young Bright Eyes minus all the debilitating depression.
Listen to the song “Austrian Empire” by Deer City.
Man Down Medic from Seattle share Deer City’s electronic inclinations (in that they also have keyboards), but instead of lo-fi bedroom lullabies, Man Down Medic play power pop dripping with oversized emotions. They’ve got the kind of explosive, anthemic choruses that Reggie and the Full Effect rock, but Man Down Medic add dreamy male vocals, bright female harmonies, and subtract the lyrics about midgets and fictional Swedish metal bands.
Listen to the song “Extra Extra” by Man Down Medic.
If you’re a fan of more traditional alternative rock, then Kirkland’s Shotty’s the band you’ll be rooting for. Their influences include Loudermilk, the Smashing Pumpkins, and “loose women and broken hearts.” They’re perhaps the most straightforward rock band in this year’s Sound Off!—though sometimes they throw in a little pop (“Blue Bom”) or some dirty guitars (“Deep Fried”) to keep ya guessing.
Listen to the song “Emporer X” by Shotty.
Finally, from Tacoma, is a duo called Kusikia. They do experimental jazz-meets-blues stuff by way of drums and guitar—it’s not all instrumental, but there are very few vocals. Their sometimes-psychedelic songs really sound more like sessions—a couple of musicians jamming after listening to some Hendrix records. It’ll be interesting to see how their loose compositions stand up to, say, Man Down Medic’s pop outbursts.
Listen to “Inconnu” by Kusikia.
Tonight’s show starts at 8 pm on Level 3 at EMP|SFM. Tickets are $7 for students and EMP members, and $10 for general public. The line up won’t be announced until right before the show, so if you’re going for a specific band, get there on time to make sure you don’t miss ‘em.
posted by February 23 at 2:37 PMon
The Mountain Goats are in town, playing Neumo’s with Jeffery Lewis (who Eric posted about yesterday). Eric also interrogated Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle this week:
Do you still get pegged as “lo-fi” even though it’s been years and albums since the Mountain Goats recorded to cassette? If so, does that bother you?
Let me answer this question with a question: Have you ever dreamt of getting your dishes done and lawn mowed by a singer-songwriter dude? Because I will do it. Because I love this question just that much. Because yes, people persist in calling our records “lo-fi.” I spent all my home-recording years pointing out that “lo-fi” was a really stupid term, and then we went into a studio and recorded Tallahassee with Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai), and we thought, “Wow, this sounds quite different.” But still, I could show you reviews that called that album “lower than lo-fi.” I can guarantee you that people will ask me questions about the lo-fi sound of Heretic Pride before the day is over. It happens every album, and it’s been eight years since I released anything recorded into a boom box.
Cobblestone Jazz play Nectar tonight, and they’re this week’s Bug in the Bassbin pick:
Most electronic shows are about as exciting to watch as data entry. Sure, there’s sometimes engaging video work, but by and large, going out to a “show” means either watching someone casually mix records or lazily twiddle knobs. Admittedly, such performances are usually meant as a call to action (dance!), so it’s refreshing to have acts like Cobblestone Jazz bridging the gap between live performance and dance party.
Also… Speaker Speaker celebrate the release of their new record at the Vera Project:
Speaker Speaker, the Lonely Forest, Lake of Falcons, Hungry Pines (Vera Project) In 2006, Speaker Speaker won $2,000 (and some gear from Gibson) in The Stranger’s Big Shot! competition. That summer, they used their prize money to cross the country to Baltimore, Maryland, and record their debut full-length with former-Jawbox-frontman-turned-producer J. Robbins, who’s worked with the Promise Ring, the Dismemberment Plan, and many others. It was a perfect fit and a dream come true for the band. On Call It Off, Robbins brings out the distorted, abrasive side of Speaker Speaker’s quick and clean pop-punk-circa-Berkeley-1994 sound. The band have had to sit on the album for almost two years while they found a label (Burning Building) and went on a few tours. But tonight, Call It Off is finally being released to all those fans the band have amassed during their refusal to, heh, call it off. And not to steal the spotlight from them (as they’re tonight’s stars), but openers Hungry Pines are a fantastically blissed-out shoegaze-meets-Pixies band if the Pixies were fronted by Chrissie Hynde instead of big ol’ Frank Black. Their new record should be out later this spring. MEGAN SELING
posted by February 23 at 12:21 PMon
After you go out tonight, if you are still wanting a shindig, there is a late night happening full of beats and shaking flesh:
The Monkey Loft - 2817 1st Ave. S. From 1 AM to 6 AM.
Test out your headspin. Throw down till the sun comes up:
posted by February 23 at 3:15 AMon
Monotonix, Black Eyes and Neckties, and Loving Thunder @ the Comet
Last night was easily the best show I’ve seen so far this year. Bass and Drum duo Loving Thunder opened with solid DFA79 dance rock tracks. The texture on the bass was perfect - just the right amount of distortion, and incredibly full sounding.
On an normal bill you would be hard pressed to find another band that gives as much energy as Bellingham’s Black Eyes and Neckties. During the second song the legs came out from under the keyboard, leaving singer Brad Lockhart to sing the rest of the track on his back using his legs as supports. The band threw themselves carelessly around the stage as the sold out crowd danced and sang along, giving them a hell of a reception. The last song devolved into a striptease, the band ending up a sweaty heap on the ground. In all, it went about as well as any band could hope for their Comet debut. I had heard Monotonix was good, but I had my doubts it was going to be all that much better than what I just saw.
Turns out I had no idea what myself or the Comet was in for. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band work a crowd or destroy a bar like Monotonix. They set fires and climbed the walls. The singer spent most of the show crowd surfing or climbing any available surface. He played the kick drum with his face. They set more fires. Sweat everywhere. Everyone was dancing, crowd surfing, participating. The drummer played his drums on the crowd. One of the light fixtures was torn from the ceiling. The management was not impressed. Everyone else had the time of their life. It was incredible. I forgot rock shows could be like that, if I ever really knew in the first place.
More photos after the jump.
posted by February 22 at 3:24 PMon
Hey kids, Gawker is still up and running! Crazy, right? But they do have an interesting story up here about how Maxim magazine (which is still publishing, too!) ran a review of the latest Black Crowes album (who knew they were still putting out albums?). The fact that Maxim ran a review of a Black Crowes album isn’t that surprising, really, but the fact that they reviewed it and gave it two and a half stars without even listening to it is pretty weird.
The Black Crowes’ label contacted Maxim, and they said this:
‘Of course, we always prefer to (sic) hearing music, but sometimes there are big albums that we don’t want to ignore that aren’t available to hear, which is what happened with the Crowes. It’s either an educated guess preview or no coverage at all, so in this case we chose the former.’
Kudos to Gawker, Maxim, and the Black Crowes for still existing. Way to survive!
posted by February 22 at 2:38 PMon
Here. Watch this Teen Cthulu video from their last show and pray for the gods of death to cloud the sky and rain blood upon the streets.
posted by February 22 at 2:11 PMon
Sunny days like today.
So want some new power pop music? The Lashes have posted side A of their new record Thank You on their MySpace page, so you can listen to for free. Yeah, it’s only side A, but they’re not holding out on you—side B isn’t recorded (or even written) yet.
Head on over to www.myspace.com/thelashes to check out the six brand new songs.
Confidential to the Lashes: Goddammit. I know I haven’t always been the biggest fan of your music, but you’re writing some catchy songs these days. “Look at Us,” is a damn fine pop song, and the chorus of “New Song” won’t go away. I might have to start liking you after all.
posted by February 22 at 1:37 PMon
The Foo Fighters have announced that they are suing Marvel Comics for copyright infringement based on a trailer for a new Wolverine cartoon that uses “substantial excerpts” of the songs “Best of You” and “Free Me.” It’s clear that the songs appear in the trailer, so there’s not much of an argument that Marvel can put up. Still, I can’t help wishing that for some reason Grohl will lose, or at least that he would have asked them to remove the music without bringing legal action. This is a clash between two of my childhood idols - the Foo Fighters and the X-Men. Although I don’t read comics like I used to, I would much rather pick up the new X-Men book than listen to the new Foo Fighters album. I long for the time when using someone’s music could be construed as a compliment. Now it warrants a lawsuit. Obviously Grohl was never a comic book fan. Go get your money, Scrooge.
posted by February 22 at 1:01 PMon
Lines floating in my head recently:
“Why is the bedroom so cold?” (Joy Division)
One of the saddest questions in the English language.
“Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box. Religion is the smile on a dog.” (Edie Brickell)
3000 years of thought and speculation is reduced to the smile on a dog. And dogs don’t even smile. Why do people hate philosophy so much? Why do people hate God so much? Another song puts God in the back of a bus. Yet another song puts God in the situation of a man who underperforms (“God, sometimes you just don’t come through”). When will pop give Western philosophy and theology the respect it deserves?
“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.” (Jim Reeves)
The man who sang these words, Reeves, died because he thought he was flying up but was in fact flying down. His small plane was turned upside down by a sudden storm. He saw the world all wrong. Heaven and hell were playing tricks on him. He pulled up and flew into the ground.
“What more can I say?” (Audio Two)
The last sentence in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: “What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence.”
posted by February 22 at 12:58 PMon
posted by February 22 at 12:33 PMon
Speaking of PWRFL Power, he’s one of this year’s Young Ones. Last year PWRFL Power (Kazutaka Nomura) made quite an impression on the Seattle music scene—he had kept a low profile, playing his quaint acoustic songs at a few shows around the city, but only when he made it into the Block Star contest (where a handful of local bands competed for a slot on the mainstage at 2007’s Capitol Hill Block Party), did he really start to sweep people of their feet. He won that battle at Vera Project (beating out Grynch, Lonely Forest, Optimus Rhyme, Skullbot, Speaker Speaker, and the Sutures) and he opened Saturday afternoon on the Mainstage. He also won a guest spot in an esurance commercial (which you just watched above).
Here’s him playing “Let Me Show You How to Use Chopsticks” at the Block Party:
This year Kaz is releasing his full-length debut (it’ll be out in a couple weeks on Slender Means Society). The art is fantastic—done by E*Rock of Portland, it’s a hand-drawn starry explosion of happiness. And the album itself, it’s a pure representation of PWRFL Power. They kept everything simple.
Of course, my favorite PWRFL Power memory is when he interviewed himself in last year’s Block Party pull-out. An excerpt:
Your MySpace “About Me” section says, “Sound is flour, music is a loaf of bread, and PWRFL POWER is a cute little bakery.” Can you explain this?
People often think I am not serious about music. That could be true. My attitude toward my craft is flexible and casual. I am just experimenting with ways to make tasty bread. However, when it comes to picking flours, I am dead serious. I believe in my musical taste, technique, and personality. A lot of young musicians start thinking about how they can make rad music and often ignore the quality of ingredients. You won’t make a good bread if you use moldy flour from corner delis!
I heard you have a huge crush on Tiny Vipers.
Who told you that!? Yes… I do. I had a dream about her a few days ago. We were in a bathroom and she said, “Kazu, don’t watch me pee.” So I looked at the wall and there was a mirror hung. I tried to see her in the mirror…
I woke up. I saw a girl sleeping right next to me. It was in NYC. I met the girl at some bar and she was a huge fan of Spoon. So I told her that I am playing with them in Seattle. That was quick. And that’s the night I started liking Spoon. They are awesome.
Congratulations, PWRFL Power. May 2008 be your most successful year yet.
Join us Thursday March 6th for the Young Ones showcase with performances by Dyme Def, Arthur & Yu, and many of this year’s Young Ones including Sleepy Eyes of Death, Throw Me the Statue, Truckasauras, Talbot Tagora, and many more, including one special secret guest! It’s $5 for the whole thing, and all the money goes to benefit Real Change. Yay for helping the homeless!
posted by February 22 at 12:19 PMon
Sometimes things fall through the cracks here at the Stranger. There just isn’t enough room in the paper to cover everything, and some album, artist, or show gets critically overlooked. To this week’s list of Rainydawg Radio and Monotonix, you can add Jeffrey Lewis.
Jeffrey Lewis hails from Portland by way of New York’s anti-folk scene. His live shows sound pretty cool, but what’s been burning a hole in my brain lately is his most recent album, a recording of twelve Crass songs perplexingly titled 12 Crass Songs. The liner notes include a cute, full-color comic strip detailing Lewis’ love affair with the seminal British anarcho-punk band, from introduction by way of a skinhead roommate to the eventual recording of this album. Lewis’ Crass covers are either a great introduction to Lewis, or to Crass, or to both, depending on where you’re coming from. His versions are simple, mostly acoustic renditions, aided by occasional percussion, group vocals, or tape shenanigans, that highlight the undeniable strength of the original songs while improving admirably on many of the actual recordings.
1. “End Result”
2. “I Ain’t Thick, It’s Just a Trick”
3. “Systematic Death”
4. “The Gasman Cometh”
5. “Banned From the Roxy”
6. “Where Next Colombus?”
7. “Do They Owe Us a Living?”
10. “Big A, Little a”
11. “Punk is Dead”
12. “Walls (Fun in the Oven)”
Jeffrey Lewis opens for the Mountain Goats tomorrow night at Neumo’s.
(of course they fucking do!)
posted by February 22 at 11:43 AMon
The big one on Haight St. I put a GWAR CD in the Belle and Sebastian section. I did it. And I’m sorry for it. One of the people working there was so beyond a dickhead to me. It was my feeble attempt at retaliation.
I asked a clerk a question about Ray Manzarek from the Doors. I thought I saw a poster that said he was doing an in-store. The record store guy did the eye roll, and grunted, and painstakingly answered me, “You mean the keyboard player from the Doors?”
Once I heard the intensity of his dickheaded-ness, I answered, “No, Ray Manzarek from GWAR.” Then the clerk just walked off. I was so pissed. I couldn’t help it.
I am now asking for forgiveness, great God of Record Stores. I know that guy was probably having a bad day. Maybe I was the ninth person to ask him about Manzarek. Maybe Manzarek had done something terrible to him, such as crap on his forehead, I don’t know. I should have let him be.
I don’t know how long the GWAR stayed there in the Belle and Sebastian. But someone found it and had to deal with it, and for that, I am sorry. Perhaps it’s still there.
posted by February 22 at 11:33 AMon
Monotonix are garage punks from Tel Aviv Israel. And seeing *is* believing. Don’t miss this one…
posted by February 22 at 11:20 AMon
Tonight, the UW’s student-run, truly free-form, basement-broadcasting but sadly online-only radio station, Rainydawg Radio, turns five. To celebrate, they’re bringing up Portland’s weirdo choir boys Menomena and wild mountain men Blitzen Trapper. Seattle’s own indie dreamboats BOAT opens.
Menomena - “Wet & Rusting”
Blitzen Trapper - “Wild Mountain Nation”
Update: BOAT does have a video (thanks, LanceBangsGhost), it’s just hard to find amidst all the home video footage of people’s speedboats and yachts:
The show is at 7 pm at the HUB Ballroom, $6 for students, $12 for non-students, all-ages.
posted by February 22 at 10:54 AMon
This Sunday, as a fundraiser for Seattle Art Cars, there will be a cross-dressing bowling and Oscar party at Sunset Bowl. Information about the event is here, but, really: cross-dressing, booze, bowling, and the Oscars. What more could you ask for?
posted by February 22 at 9:13 AMon
El Corazon celebrates three years tonight—this show is going to be incredible:
These Arms Are Snakes, Mouth of the Architect, Past Lives, Helms at El Corazón If you’ve been paying attention at all to new local bands that rip shit up, then you already have your tickets to this show—which is the third-anniversary celebration for El Corazón. But it’s openers Helms Alee that I’m most excited about—they’re as much abrasive guitar-heavy hard rock as they are soaring, fuzzy noise. And they’re fantastic. (El Corazón, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094. 8 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, all ages.) by Megan Seling
Exodus, Goat Whore, Arsis, Warbringer, HMP
(Studio Seven) Sayeth Saturday Knight Barfly: “Remember 1985? That’s when Exodus released their Combat Records debut, Bonded by Blood. That album’s release marked a sea change in my musical interests. The day it dropped, three friends and I took a bunch of acid, hopped in a Dodge Dart, put that album on, and drove to watch Venom, Slayer, and Exodus play at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium—we must’ve listened to it four times in the car. At the venue, we stole a jug of wine from a banquet room, rolled a T-shirt bootlegger for some Slayer Ts, puffed some brick weed with some cholos, and listened to BBB twice more before heading into the show. When we did, Exodus was playing ‘Piranha.’ In that moment, I figured out exactly what I was going to do with my life—get stoned every day and listen to thrash.” LARRY MIZELL JR.
The Music of Led Zeppelin
(Paramount) A 50-piece orchestra and a “rock” band will be at the Paramount doing horrible Muzak versions of Led Zeppelin songs. There is a pitiful Robert Plant rip-off named Randy Jackson from the band Zebra and the reunited Jefferson Airplane who is singing. He even has Robert Plant hair. The ads for this show use the words “passion” and “power” to describe the music—in other words, it will sound like Yanni. Conductor Brent Havens says, “Vocalist Randy Jackson shrieks brilliantly and delivers a note-for-note interpretation. The music itself is one thing, but Jackson more than captures the spirit of legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.” Conductor Brent Havens is also deaf. The only spirit that is captured here is the spirit of your wallet. The “Kashmir” sounds like burlap, the “Black Dog” is white, and the “Stairway” is to Macy’s. They’re not “Going to California”; they’re going to Bellevue. TRENT MOORMAN
Bug in the Bassbin reccomends:
Dirtybird’s Christian Martin and Worthy play Chop Suey on Friday, February 22. The hype over the Dirtybird label has subsided a bit, but Christian Martin (brother of label founder Justin) has got its quirky sound on lock.
And there’s quite a bit happening in the world of classical, avant garde, etc too—read about it in the Score.
posted by February 21 at 7:10 PMon
…and just accept the fact that BORIS is the greatest living rock band on the planet. I don’t want any arguments on the matter. After all, Takeshi has a double-neck bass/guitar; Atsuo has a gong; and Wata can outplay any other guitar player I’ve seen in recent memory despite being only half as tall as her Orange full-stack. Oh, and they’re named after a Melvins song. I really don’t think there’s any denying their supremacy. Their new album Smile is due out April 29th on Southern Lord, but for now you can enjoy the video for Statement, the first single off the upcoming record.
posted by February 21 at 5:12 PMon
A new song that doesn’t have a name yet:
A cover of the Elevator to Hell song “Why I Didn’t Like August ‘93”:
And finally, the title track from the new album, “Call it Off”:
posted by February 21 at 5:05 PMon
Making the blog rounds today: Seattle popsters Throw Me the Statue’s recent “take away show” for La Blogotheque. The band performs “About To Walk,” “Lolita,” and a cover of Guided By Voices’ “My Valuable Hunting Knife” on a ferry full of morning commuters. “About to Walk” is especially swoon-worthy. Their debut album, Moonbeams, previously available via Baskerville Hill, was re-released yesterday on Secretly Canadian.
Throw Me the Statue play as part of the Stranger’s Young Ones Showcase, a benefit for Real Change, Thurs March 6th at Neumo’s and Sole Repair, $5 suggested donation, 21+
posted by February 21 at 4:07 PMon
The West Fest is the best fest- All Points West Festival lineup released
British blowout!- Amy Winehouse and Paul McCartney steal the show at the Brit Awards
Rock and roll all night- Simmon’s lawyer confirms sex tape is real.
EMI drops the ball- Art brut “pissed off” at their record label.
posted by February 21 at 2:55 PMon
One thing that continues to intrigue me, is in the short time span between 1976 - 1979, which is known as the golden era of disco, how many artists, producers, and projects became short lived regardless of having a top charting single. With the fall of disco, at least from the mainstream during the 1980’s, it seems like record labels moved on to new things such as New Wave and Pop for their dance oriented releases. One project that seems to fall into that category of releasing a chart topping disco single only to completely disapear from the music scene is Eastside Connection. This group was produced by Harry Scorzo and released three 12” singles and one full-length LP during the late 1970’s which included the disco classic and most notable, “You’re so right for me”. The project’s other singles, “Frisco Disco” and “Quizas, quizas, quizas” were equally outstanding, however did not receive the kind of a attention that the You’re so right for me 12” gained in 1978. Even with the success of this single, the group decided for unknown reasons, to disband. Even though we never got to hear what this group could of flourished into, like so many other disco projects of this era, we were left with a few amazing singles, which is more than I can say for a lot of today’s artists.
posted by February 21 at 2:53 PMon
posted by February 21 at 2:00 PMon
First time I listened to Janet’s Discipline, set for release next week, I was distracted enough to think the disc was awesome. The thought crept up on me while I was working on a writing assignment; I wasn’t paying much attention to the music, but 15 minutes into the disc, I realized my head had been bobbing the whole time. So I went back and gave it a harder listen, and the highlights on this thing are surprising. She’s on a robo-pop kick now, evident from the over-vocoded opening single “Feedback,” but even that track’s robophilia is redeemed by its hook (I happen to dig the over-edited enunciation of “fee-DBACK, fee-DBACK”). That bleeds into the crunk-keys slow-jam “LUV,” then turns into “Rollercoaster,” a strange piece of tribal pop whose melody is stripped to leave only multi-tracked vocals and synth percussion. Hey, give the girl credit for picking out a few good producers (Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri…did you know Dupri produced Kris Kross’ debut record? I just figured this out and thought it deserved a two-sentence aside).
When I used the term “robo-pop,” I totally bet you thought about Kanye and Daft Punk’s bro-mance as of late, no? Then you’ll love this—Janet’s “So Much Betta” completely cribs DP’s “Daftendirekt” for its beat. To her credit, she smothers the sample with a bizarre, chipmunk-pitched rap, giving the thing a vocal-percussive quality that actually makes it an album highlight. Still, this shit is getting ridiculous. What’s next? Christina Aguilera releasing a FSOL tribute album? Decks&Drums&HannahMontana?
There are a couple of other decent tracks on Discipline (by-the-books radio single “The 1,” complete with Missy Elliott cameo, and “Rock With U,” not an MJ cover but a Euro-house popster that could’ve been on Madonna’s Music), but that’s about it. She’s not exactly reinventing pop music with the good tracks, and the other 2/3 of the disc is boring, played-out R&B. Seriously, most of it is awful. Terrible. The kinds of jams you’d expect dudes to hump an ottoman to. Worse, I think that Janet’s voice sounds more and more like her brother’s as the years pass by, which is mighty creepy. If you’re asking me to stomach sugary love/lust lyrics, Janet, don’t sound like you’re trying to serve the Jesus Juice.
posted by February 21 at 1:32 PMon
Narcocorrido music makes gansta rap look like a walk in the park:
Popular Mexican singer Jesus Rey David Alfaro was found murdered along with his manager and assistant. Alfaro, known as The Little Rooster, and six others were tortured, murdered and pinned with messages for the Mexican army.
The musicians, who sing “narcocorrido” songs glorifying drug traffickers, were the latest murdered in the drug war between Tijuana’s main drug trafficking group Arellano Felix and traffickers lead by Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman. At least 6 other “narcocorrido” singers have been murdered in the war.
“We believe Alfaro had links to the Arellano Felix cartel,” said an official.
A note reading “You’ll be next” was pinned to Alfaro’s body. He was found in a wasteland on the edge of Tijuana. Rope marks could be seen on his neck. Officials say they believe he Alfaro was tortured before he was shot in the head.
Here’s The Little Rooster in a happy moment of his short life”
posted by February 21 at 12:51 PMon
I was fooling around the other day with itunes, attempting to compress the Beatles’ White Album double CD version onto a single CD…I don’t want two CDs that each only play for about 45 minutes. Plus, I’m not a fan of EVERY song, so I had to dump 14 minutes or so of DEAD weight…the hated Ob-la-de Ob-la-da was FIRST to get cut! So then I figured why not rearrange the track list to suit MY taste! HA, suck on that Mr. Martin! Plus, digitally, the original LP concept (or whatever) is NOT considered as a double CD. As a double LP there were four sides programmed by the band/producer to, respectably, consider, with specific beginnings and endings. You couldn’t escape ‘em either…well, unless you hovered over the turntable playing only the songs you wanted to hear (or you made a TAPE, I guess), so, odds are, you’d sit through which ever side was playing and hear what THEY wanted you to hear as THEY wanted you to hear it. Unless you were Charles Manson, then you heard something far sinister…ANYWAYS, now, as an armchair producer, I’ve built a SINGLE 78 minute start to finish piece. No time between tracks either…so here, I give you the Beatles, the “Mike Album” (GET IT?…har har har!)
Back In The U.S.S.R.
Wild Honey Pie
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
I’m So Tired
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide
Long Long Long
Cry Baby Cry
Ah, now thats better!
posted by February 21 at 12:21 PMon
I’m not sure why I started to care about Hot Water Music a lot more once they started announcing random tour dates—I always loved the band, they put on killer live shows, but I wasn’t that heartbroken when they broke up. They had been around forever. It was time.
But then they started in with the whole “Yeah, we’ll play one show” thing. Which turned into one more show. Teasing and taunting. That turned into a few more shows, an appearance at SXSW, and now they’re adding even MORE dates. They’re playing Bamboozle Left with 7 Seconds on April 6th in Irvine, CA, and then they’re playing a few dates over in Germany in May.
Quit fucking around, HWM! Just fucking come to Seattle! Hell, I’ll even go to Portland! And if you give me enough notice, maybe I’ll even make the trek to San Francisco. Just admit it. You’re back. You’re a band again. Just go the fuck on tour already.
Thank you for listening.
posted by February 21 at 12:15 PMon
Bremerton! Wait, what?
Before heading off to Tennessee for the Bonnaroo festival in June, Death Cab For Cutie will be making it’s way down the West Coast for a stint of dates that begins with a show in Bremerton on April 18th, forgoing a Seattle show. Following them down the coast will be
MXPX the Cave Singers. Death Cab have also released a track listing for their upcoming album Narrow Stairs, out May 13th.
posted by February 21 at 11:12 AMon
TacocaT, the Suspicions, Reverse Dotty, the Hungry Pines
(Comet) A parable about TacocaT: A friend of mine and I were backstage at a recent show. TacocaT, on stage, launched into a song. As the rough punk rhythm and muffled vocal/guitar wail seeped through the walls, my friend said, “Oh, this is my favorite TacocaT song!” “This?” I asked him. “This is a Bikini Kill song.” “Really?” he asked, looking genuinely surprised. “Yeah, this is their cover of ‘Carnival’ by Bikini Kill.” “Oh.” ERIC GRANDY
Shat, Lesbian, BlöödHag, Get Down Syndrome
(Funhouse) It’s confusing, right? Four DUDES calling themselves “Lesbian,” playing really heavy, sludgy metal with an album titled Power Whore. Oops, make that Power Hör. What-the-F are they trying to say? You know, I DON’T KNOW. What I do know is that their sound is an awesomely confusing super-mix of black metal and prog, with a dash of Krautrock and sludge-doom thrown in—an entirely genre-defying new brand of psychedelic, almost hypnotic metal that stoners and nerds alike can bang to. Think Neurosis in bed with Pelican. Or Venom making out with Boris. Or High on Fire going out to dinner with Isis. You get the picture. Hey, I wonder if the Les’bros know that the Wildrose has live music now. Now THAT would be some genre defiance. KELLY O
Sia, Har Mar Superstar
(Showbox at the Market) Admittedly, I had no idea who Sia was when I wrote a post about her on Line Out a month or so ago. To me, she was just a cute blond lady drawing on her face with Crayola markers on the cover of her new solo disc, Some People Have Real Problems, on which she sings songs that are childlike, playful, and catchy, but unremarkable. Then I learned, via Line Out’s unforgiving commenters, that she was one of the vocalists for Zero7 (her work with them was, apparently, “incredible”) and one of her songs appeared “in a pivotal moment” on the final episode of Six Feet Under. She’s from Australia, and she’s been around forever—experimenting with triphop, acid jazz, and adult contemporary—and OMG, you guys, I’m sorry I didn’t know. Her record is out on the Starbucks label, and all her history doesn’t change the fact that it’s unremarkable. MEGAN SELING
And from The Score:
BUDDY CATLETT This fine bassist has gigged with just about everybody, most notably Count Basie and Frank Sinatra. Here, Catlett anchors a quintet stocked with fellow Seattle jazz legends Clarence Acox (drums), Hadley Caliman (saxophone), Bob Hammer (piano), and Julian Priester (trombone). Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave, 684-7171, noon—1 pm, free.
posted by February 21 at 10:12 AMon
(Awesome eclipse photo by Nic Launceford.)
Last night, between 7:01 and 7:51 pm, somewhere between 150 and 200 people gathered in Cal Anderson Park to sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at the moon, which was in a full lunar eclipse. The group, of mixed ethnicity, age, and gender, sang the song exactly 10 times.
At the top of Teletubby Hill, one man stood holding a boombox over his head, John Cusack style. Another man, the one who conceived of the event in the first place, held a megaphone. The rest of the singers cascaded down the hill all the way back to the fountains, so they appeared to be serenading the moon.
Some people came to the event because they’re on the Seattle Cacophony listserv, which is also the birthplace of events like Santarchy and the Brides of March. One man came because of his friend—“There must be ten people here because of him,” he laughed—who initially received the e-mail through rampant forwarding. Another man, wandering through the park, saw the gathering, shouted “All right!” like he’d waited his entire life for a large group of strangers to be singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the middle of a park, and ran to the mass of people, who welcomed him enthusiastically. People who hadn’t seen each other in years happened across each other. One woman climbed her boyfriend and started making out with him.
More singers climbed the hill already singing the song, like a weird version of that old “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial. And it was an honestly touching event: It’s hard to convey the power of dozens of people repeatedly singing “Forever’s gonna start tonight” all at once, but if you were there and you didn’t feel tingles, you must be a little dead inside.
Between songs, the man with the megaphone would announce the number the group had gotten up to: “This is the third iteration!” By the sixth iteration, people were do-se-do-ing during the “Turnaround” parts. During the seventh iteration, somebody was beatboxing along to the chorus. During the eighth iteration, a sad-looking woman came over, sat by the group without singing, and stared off, looking sad. At the end of that iteration, she stood up, nodded to herself, and then wandered off. She looked a little happier. And, full disclosure: I choked up during the sixth chorus, which in my opinion was the strongest.
Before the man with the megaphone announced the ninth iteration, a flight of birds flew overhead in V formation, lit by the park’s streetlights. The singers burst into spontaneous applause. After the tenth iteration, the man with the megaphone announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Moon!” Everyone applauded more. Finally, because someone announced it was the man with the megaphone’s birthday, everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” before wandering off to drink and nurse their colds and sleep. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is officially the best song in the world.
posted by February 21 at 9:44 AMon
These Arms Are Snakes are a road band. They’ve made multiple trips to Europe and tour constantly. When they play, they bring it all, full bore. They dive and bleed. They’re tough, like their guitar lit music. (Lit as in fire.) There is no getting around their toughness.
These Arms bassist Brian Cook took time to have story time. Then he slapped me around. I mean, I asked him to slap me, but still, he slapped me:
I’m sure you all have a story or two from the road. Can you give these readers some These Arms stories?
Brian: In Hollywood, Steven (singer) snuck into Anna Nicole Smith’s birthday party after our set at some douchebag venue. He showed up later with her lipstick smeared all over his face and her birthday cake all over his sweater.
For a Halloween show in Connecticut we dressed up as the Nativity scene. I was Joseph, Ryan and Chris were wise men. Steve was Mary, though he wound up stripping down to women’s underwear. We had a baby Jesus in a manger at the front of the drum set. Chris had rigged an elaborate tubing system through the baby Jesus doll that caused it to projectile vomit bright green puke at a particularly dramatic point in the set. Good times.
For my 27th birthday, I tried to drink 27 drinks in 27 hours. I snuck out of the bar we were hanging out at and my bandmates later found me wandering the streets out of breath and incoherently babbling about “chasing the animal”. I wound up trying to punch Erin from Minus the Bear, who was drumming for us at the time, when he was trying to help me go to bed.
In Detroit we wandered through an abandoned Catholic school at night. We walked through the empty classrooms and up to the roof and watched several blocks of the ghetto burn to the ground.
What is the secret to touring?
Alone time and independence. The first bit of wisdom I ever got from anyone regarding touring was to spend at least ten minutes alone everyday. Go for a walk, grab some coffee, whatever. But get away from your bandmates before you go crazy. I don’t know how the hell I toured before the age of cellphones. That shit is like a lifeline away from the weird insular biosphere of the van. More and more, I’m beginning to recognize the beauty in eating alone. Everyone in the van has a pretty different diet and attitude towards food, and it’s kinda interesting how big of a factor it becomes. I’ve definitely learned that touring gets easier when i’m willing to eat alone in a restaurant.
(photo at top of post: Ryan Russell)
posted by February 20 at 4:25 PMon
He would have been 41 years old today.
The Cobain documentary About A Son was released on DVD yesterday. A limited edition vinyl version of the soundtrack will be released on Barsuk next month.
posted by February 20 at 4:22 PMon
“In third grade I stopped liking Metallica because they made a music video.”
posted by February 20 at 4:01 PMon
(Thanks for the link, Hickey.)
posted by February 20 at 3:37 PMon
No Age release tracklisting for new album- Some more tour dates as well.
Hancock to the top!- River: The Joni Letters jumps from 159 to 5 since the Grammy’s
Coming up empty- No bids placed yet on “The World’s Greatest Music Collection”
Welcome back, grrl!- Amy Winehouse to play first public concert since getting out of rehab.
posted by February 20 at 3:19 PMon
This month The Stranger announced the 2008 Young Ones, a list of eight talented artists in Seattle who are making great music and predicted to find success over the course of the next year. There will be a party celebrating all the bands on Thursday, March 6th, and in the days leading up to the event, we will profile a band a day here on Line Out. Visit www.thestranger.com/youngones for more information.
The Pharmacy have been around for years—they released their full-length debut, B.F.F., in 2005. They’ve played hundreds of shows, gone on tours with artists like Kimya Dawson, Best Friends Forever, and Matt & Kim, and during their adventures they’ve been arrested, stranded, and cut by sharp rocks in a river. The band’s also gone through a regularly rotating cast of characters. The trio turned into a duo that turned into a quartet that turned back into a trio, which is where they’re at now with drummer Brendhan Bowers, guitarist and singer Scott Yoder, and keyboardist Stefan Rubicz.
We’ve watched them morph from a discordant DIY punk band with melodies that struggled to breath under lo-fi recordings into power pop gold with messy but enthusiastic song structures and memorable choruses.
That’s why they’re one of this year’s Young Ones. In just two weeks the band well release their second full-length—Choose Your Own Adventure is the best thing the band’s done. Scott Yoder’s voice still struggles to hit some of the higher notes (and that’s one thing I like about his voice), and some songs are pure, blissful power-pop, while others still got that angst that made B.F.F. so fun to scream along to. With the release of this album and the most sturdy line-up the band has had in years, they’re poised to have a great fucking 2008.
Here’s the video for the song “Little Toys on a Shelf,” which is on the yet-to-be-released album Choose Your Own Adventure (out Feb 26th on Don’t Stop Believin’):
The Pharmacy, sadly, will be leaving on tour after their February 29 and March 1st CD release shows, so they won’t be appearing at the Young Ones party on Thursday, March 6th. But the line-up is still great—Sleepy Eyes of Death, Throw Me the Statue, Truckasauras, the Moondoggies, Talbot Tagora, the Physics, and we can’t forget about headliners Arthur & Yu and Dyme Def. The shows are at Neumo’s and Sole Repair, and it’s only $5 to get into the whole thing. All that cash goes to benefit Real Change.
Visit www.thestranger.com/youngones for more information.
posted by February 20 at 2:57 PMon
The woman in the water…
…is the woman who kills Kanye West in the video for “Flashing Lights.”
Her name is Rita G. The G stands for something. That something is known not by me. The place to see what Rita is all about is here. And below are some “crazy Facts about Rita G.”
* I have a ‘mini’ fetish. I’m obsessed with all things miniature and tiny. I eat with a baby spoon and sometimes drink wine out of a cute glass the size of a thimble… I wear ‘baby’ tee’s for real - real tight shirts from the kids section.. lol
* I don’t use deodorant. Once I learned about the harmful effects that aluminum and mercury have on the body (linked to Alzheimer’s) I searched for an effective natural way to stay dry - I apply pure aloe vera gel to my underarms and it seems to work just fine for me.
* I don’t wash my clothes very often. Well, I did say I would reveal my ‘dirty’ secrets didn’t I? Actually it’s just that I have so many clothes I am not forced to laundry for months and by that time I would have already bought more clothes!
* I am an AQUARIUS, to the extreme.
* I like shopping at the dollar store.. guaranteed to be a cheap date. I doesn’t take much to make me happy.
* I didn’t have a TV for nine years. When I was 14 I read a book about the ways that our subconscious mind is programmed by media images and I gave away my TV. Though I have one now I still prefer a good book instead.
* Favorite scent that drives men (and women) crazy when I wear it - Marina de Bourbon, it’s French and is very seductive…. my other fav is a perfume oil called Pikaki Lei - a hawaiian flower from the tropical rainforest.
posted by February 20 at 2:12 PMon
Speaker Speaker (finally) released their J. Robbins produced full-length, Call it Off, yesterday. Hooray!
You can listen to the whole thing for free at Burning Building’s website: bbrecordings.com.
They’re celebrating with a free, acoustic in-store performance at Sonic Boom in Ballard tonight at 7 pm.
Now here’s a video for their song “Statues/Shadows” (which is on Call it Off (sorry Jasen).
And here’s a video of drummer Jasen Samford making cinnamon come out of his nose while Steely Dan plays overhead at some pizza joint:
posted by February 20 at 11:20 AMon
Taken by vassertron.
posted by February 20 at 11:14 AMon
Arcade Lover - Fantasy Lines 12”
This week I want to recommend checking out Arcade Lover’s debut 12” single Fantasy Lines. This single was released this week on Sav Remzi’s Tirk label. Arcade Lover features a cast of proven new school disco veterans including Metro Area’s Darshan Jesrani, Escort’s Dan Balis (Guitar & Keys), Caleb Burhans (violin, viola), Ernesto Abreau (percussion), and Benny Herson (drums), as well as Jonathan Maron from Groove Collective on bass, Lisa Shaw on vocals, and disco DJ/Producer/Re-edit master Lee Douglas on clavinet. This single has a definite 70’s cosmic/space disco groove, sounding a lot like a slowed down funky Escort track that was recorded on a journey to the moon. That being said, it’s safe to say that this new fantastic disco single is one of the best 12” records to be released this year so far.
posted by February 20 at 11:10 AMon
MEN, Hey Willpower
(Nectar Lounge) MEN is the new project from Johanna Fateman and JD Samson of beloved but defunct electro riot act Le Tigre. They bill themselves as “producers and remixers and DJs,” and their MySpace page features some mashed-up demos that splice Missy Elliot, CSS, Soulwax, Kelly Clarkson, Lil Jon, and more (they list their genres as “club/crunk/big beat”). San Francisco’s Hey Willpower is the electro-pop/R&B alias of Imperial Teen’s Will Schwarz and Tussle’s Tomo Yasuda. Their songs range from frivolous, disposable goofs to genuinely sexy dance-floor come-ons to the elated pop grace of early single “Hundredaire.” Live, Schwarz’s considerable charisma is aided by waifish boy/girl backup dancers. This might be the gayest dance party Fremont has seen in a long-ass time. It should be a blast. ERIC GRANDY
Also tonight, Saigon at Neumo’s. Larry Mizell wrote about him in this week’s My Philosophy:
These days, we need somebody like Saigon. In an age when Fat Joe can’t seem to hop off DJ Khaled’s speedboat, when hiphop’s love, money, and inspiration are all in dangerously short supply—shit, when there’s actually kids debating Soulja Boy vs. GZA—an outspoken and combustible NYC traditionalist refusing to budge from hiphop’s bleeding edge like it’s a pissy Bed-Stuy stoop is particularly heartening.
When I first heard Warning Shots, 2004’s retail-ready “Best of” collection of Saigon’s by then prodigious mixtape output, I was most struck by how gangsta his gangster was. 50 Cent, who just two years prior was in the same spot, was already oiling up for the ladies, LL-style. Someone like Sai, not long out of prison for attempted murder, was in a perfect position to out-thug the big dogs. But instead of doing photo shoots in bullet-proof vests, Saigon gave some infamously ill interviews, denouncing artists like Snoop and Game for glorifying gangbanging.
And, as you probably know, Grand Archives are playing two shows at the Triple Door tonight. They are, I’ve been told, sold out. Read Brad Steinbacher’s interview with Mat Brooks here. Watch a couple videos from last night’s Sonic Boom in-store here.
posted by February 20 at 10:11 AMon
Prove it by watching the (dear god even typing the words makes me want to vomit) the just-surfaced Gene Simmons sex tape.
It’s NSFW, obviously. It’s also one of the more depressing sex acts you’ll ever see. Can it be that Gene Simmons has created the world’s first effective piece of abstinence education?
Apologies to all, especially that poor hooker who can’t bear to kiss Simmons on the mouth.
Thank you, Fleshbot. (Link NSFW)
posted by February 20 at 10:00 AMon
I posted the above picture of Slats at King Cobra last week. The caption said, “Slats. You’ve seen him. You love him. He knows Duff Mckagan.”
Hey, quit lending credence to wastes of space and air like Slats by giving them trainspotter status. Fuck off!
The ‘Where’s Slats?’ thread on the Stranger Forum has been running since Nov. 2006. It’s good reading. ‘Tube’ says:
Slats is so cool that he doesn’t walk down Broadway, Broadway simply rolls under Slats.
What do you say?:
Does Slats deserve train-spotter status?
Have you ever seen Slats?
Slats is a:
Does Slats really know Duff Mckagan?
Does Slats walk down Broadway or does Broadway roll under Slats?
posted by February 20 at 9:53 AMon
This just in from the interwebs, on this day of the lunar eclipse:
Please join me in Cal Anderson park on February 20th at 7:01PM to sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” karaoke-style for the 51 minutes that the eclipse is, in fact, total.
If you want to bring along music to sing along to…feel free. If you want to play an instrument, feel free. If you want to bring your whole band, go ahead. I will have a megaphone so that people can take their turn on the top of the hill if they want. If you bring your own megaphone, don’t be a dick.
I didn’t really have any experience with the song until this party, but since then it’s become one of my favorite karaoke songs to watch. It’s almost impossible to sing it without really feeling it. People can start off all “Oh, this is so funny and clever, ha-ha, what a cheesy song,” but by the time they get to the “And I need you now tonight/And I need you more than ever/And if you’ll only hold me tight/We’ll be holding on forever” part, those motherfuckers are totally living “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It would be fun to see a bunch of people really get into it, although 51 minutes is a long damn time to sing anything. Still, though, I know what song I’ve got stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
posted by February 20 at 9:30 AMon
Recently, on this comments thread, it’s been suggested that I don’t like rock & roll. It’s also been suggested that I wear girl pants and suck dick, but we’ll get to that in a second. First, a list of rock bands I’ve written about in recently:
But, of course, the real problem isn’t that I don’t write about rock & roll. It’s that I don’t write about rock & roll as narrowly defined by these commenters (many of them the charming partisans of King Cobra). Because I don’t think rock & roll has to conform to a leather-jacket-slats-hat-and-tattoos aesthetic. Because I don’t think it has to be juvenile or anti-intellectual. Because I don’t think it has to be homophobic, misogynistic, or macho. No, the real problem is that I “wear girl pants,” that I’m an “emo bitch,” or that I’m the “main attraction at [Neighbors’] aids socket/glory hole.” And if that shit’s rock & roll, then you losers can have it.
posted by February 19 at 8:23 PMon
Via the PI:
SPOKANE, Wash. — An apparent meteor streaked through the sky over the Pacific Northwest early Tuesday, drawing reports of bright lights and sonic booms in parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Although a witness reported seeing the object strike the Earth in a remote part of Adams County, in southeast Washington, it had not been found.
posted by February 19 at 8:10 PMon
Grand Archives played a short set this evening at Sonic Boom in Ballard to celebrate the release of their self-titled debut on Sub Pop (in stores today).
Sub Pop brought cupcakes and the band had eight guitars to be shared between five dudes to play only four songs.
Here are a couple videos:
(The sound is sorta ugh on this next one—the band was too loud for the little camera’s mic. But it’s the first single and I really like the ba da ba ba badas that they sing so I figured I’d include it. Sing it with me. Ba da ba ba bada!)
Grand Archives play two shows Wednesday night at the Triple Door. The first, at 7:30, is all ages. The later show is 21+.
posted by February 19 at 4:59 PMon
I’m usually fond of the blog Soul Sides for their obscure soul and R&B cuts. Today, though, I finally got around to listening to the mp3’s in Sunday’s post, about Cortijo Y Su Bonche, a Puerto Rican band that played a kind of pre-salsa.
This is the perfect music for impending spring: It makes you want to smile and walk down the street and smile at pretty people. You should go and download them and walk around town before all the sun is gone.
posted by February 19 at 4:25 PMon
I’m sad I missed Marilyn Manson last night. His latest album is excellent. 100x better than that awful anomaly from 2003. It’s him singing his catchy burlesque-tempo-Kurt-Weill songs with electric static guitar and—a nice change up—lots of guitar lead freak outs circa Blue Cheer/Jimi Hendrix. I just got it this weekend.
posted by February 19 at 2:39 PMon
…One day my little brother walks in the house and he got these Kevin Garnett-sized earrings on. R Kelly joints. Big, diamond earrings. If they were real they woulda cost at least a quarter-million dollars. I’m like the purpose of wearin’ fake jewelry is to make people believe it might be real. So if you had the money to afford those earrings, you wouldn’t be livin’ in this house. He gives me the smirk - whateva. And I know he’s gettin’ that from the rap videos. I’m like look at how influential this is on my little brother, I’m schoolin’ him every day talkin’ about how fake most of these gangsta rappers are, but their influence is stronger than me and he knows what I’ve been through. Rappers are raising our kids. Rappers replaced the black father. Sad but true. You know how many young kids I know that think its cool to sleep wit’ as many girls as possible? I’m like AIDS is out there, are y’all crazy? But no its like ‘I’m a pimp, I got this many chicks duh-duh-duh-duh-dah.’ Rappers don’t emphasize safe sex; they emphasize butt-naked women in they videos. Seein’ stuff like that made me feel like if I’m gonna do this, I gotta be responsible. I can’t send kids to prison, can’t do it.
Saigon plays Neumos’s tomorrow night with Dyme Def, Cancer Rising, and Mr. Supreme.
posted by February 19 at 2:33 PMon
Chicago’s Catfish Haven will not perform at the Nectar tonight as previously announced. Though the band’s site doesn’t say so, the Nectar Lounge says the band had “travel issues.” To deal with this, I’m going to listen to the Grand Archives’ live in-studio performance on KEXP in less than half an hour (3 p.m. PST). It ain’t CH’s riotous garage-soul, but it’ll do.
posted by February 19 at 1:55 PMon
Words and stunning photography by Morgan Keuler.
Upon arriving at the Paramout, I was also ‘treated’ to the protesters that Megan previously reported on. However, I wasn’t lucky enough to get the performance she was treated to, just cat calls of ‘hail Satan.’ Something tells me the protesters won a lot of converts last night… at a Marilyn Manson concert.
After the opener was done and the changeover complete, there was at least an extra half hour wait for the MM show to start, which, to me, is a complete fuck you to your fans pretty much anytime that happens. I know, there can be technical BS going on, but the majority of the time it’s the producers of the show trying to milk the audience for the maximum booze/food/merch dollar possible. I know, that’s what the whole live music business runs on, but there’s a reasonable point, and this was way beyond that. Especially at a show like MM’s where there’s a lot of kids pressed up at the barricade. It just makes for a worse situation when the show does start.
Maybe I was just pissed because the number of songs we got to shoot was cut down from three upon entering the venue, to two upon getting down to the barricade with the main security, to one when MM’s personal security guard showed up. Another fuck you from MM’s camp.
Once the show finally started, MM entered the stage from a shroud of red fog, singing into a mic festooned with a huge knife. As he prowled the catwalk that was erected into the audience, he swung the knife with mimicked abandon mainly towards the air but occasionally towards himself.
After retreating from the pit the show descended into ’80s hair metal mode with a couple of happenings I would expect more perhaps at a Van Halen show than a Marilyn Manson show; a number of girls flashing and numerous ‘city calls.’ Apparently the topless girls on guys shoulders came as no surprise to MM as he said the oft repeated rock show phrase, “show me your tits,” to which another girl was thoroughly compliant. I lost count of how many times MM hyped the audience with screams of ‘Seeeeaaattttttttlllllle’, but, I must say, Seattle does sound good when screamed.
Next, I was surprised MM addressed the protesters outside the show, as I would imagine they are an all too frequent fixture at his events. What I could make out from what he said was something along the lines of a new cheer for the protesters that went something like “1-2-3-4 we suck God’s cock.” To obvious applause, the next song started with MM making suggestive motions towards, in fact, showing his cock.
What can you say about that? A night with Marilyn Manson.
Words and stunning photography by Morgan Keuler.
posted by February 19 at 1:45 PMon
Paul is dead- The man seen on the cover of Abbey Road dies in Florida.
Xiu Xiu extend their already long tour- Playing at Chop Suey on March 8th.
No Depression to stop production- Don’t get too down, country music fans. If it could happen to Arthur, it could happen again!
T-Pain pines for a Fred Durst collaboration- Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored T-Pain
posted by February 19 at 1:17 PMon
Over the nice and sunny (for a change) 3 day weekend, I found myself enjoying this latin flavored disco cut entitled, “In The Forest” by Baby’O. This 1979 classic dancefloor track was produced by Rafael Villafane and was originally included on the only Baby’O record, You’ve Got It, released on their own Calibre Records. The song is highlighted by a very heavy percussion and funky bass groove intro, as well as latin-boogie breakdown definitely worth sampling. After getting a chance to hear the entire record, it’s definitely unfortunate that Villafane didn’t put together a follow-up release. The project name, “Baby’O” was acutally named after a famous disco in Acapulco, Mexico. Overall, the song worked nice for my “warmer” relaxing weekend.
posted by February 19 at 12:51 PMon
We Got It for Cheap Vol. 3: Spirit of Competition
Did you get the memo? Live nigga rap is back. The first two We Got It for Cheap mixtapes were manna from heaven, emergency food drops of more dope-related rhyme from street-hop masters Clipse, something to tide the fiends over till the feast that would be their forever-delayed sophomore album, Hell Hath No Fury. That album finally dropped amid a white flurry of critical snow jobs, but, despite being a stunning follow-up, it didn’t find sales equal to the respect.
Which brings us to the third installment, leaked on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the first WGIFC mixtape credited to the Re-Up Gang (Clipsters Pusha T and Malice combined with Philly’s Ab-Liva and Sandman) rather than just Clipse, and rightfully so. As opposed to the sheer no-brainer supremacy of the brothers Thornton on previous installments, here Liva and Sandman easily match hardcore rap’s most fearlessly lyrical duo at every turn with a startling barrage of withering wordplay. Clipse deal in their only real subject matter—cocaine and all its attendant difficulties/rewards—with language and flow so graceful, vibrant, and imaginary that it makes rap’s most tired premise sparkle with originality.
But while WGIFC1 was aiight and WGIFC2 was a stone classic of hyperliterate coke-rhyme, both were the very definition of “hungry.” The most recent chapter, though, reveals a certain ennui, a bitterness about the success that’s constantly eluded them despite no shortage of Arctic Monkeys–type hype. Their rhymes—particularly Malice’s—have them (temporarily?) downshifted to glaring from the wings, rather than devouring the set: “I can’t wait for Skateboard to save me/My house in default, his house paisley/He’s not at fault, no, not vaguely/He’s on a yacht somewhere with Jay-Z.”
The fact is, Clipse & Co. have been consistently spoiling their fans with the kind of diesel-grade product that few else in this postskills rap landscape are distributing these days. Even on their worst day—which WGIFC3 certainly is not—one whiff of Re-Up’s raw will have your whole face numb.
Download it here.
posted by February 19 at 12:48 PMon
Marshalltown, Iowa’s Modern Life Is War have just announced that they will be calling it quits. From the band’s myspace:
Modern Life Is War will be doing one final tour from March 29th to April 26th. Our last show ever will be April 26th in Marshalltown, Iowa. There is no disaster or dramatic situation behind the break-up. All past and current members of the band are still good friends and there is no bad blood. We just feel like it’s the right time and would rather end things on our own terms than let our band become a ghost of what it was in the beginning or to be ripped apart by outside forces…
All across the country, kids with their septums gauged are bummed.
posted by February 19 at 12:26 PMon
Faux Rapper – Cologne Mogul, Puff Diddy Daddy claims that the man who is suing him over a fight outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood is the one to blame.
Duddy Diddy says (in music-news.com):
The man continued moving toward me and, without warning, lunged at me. Instinctively, I outstretched one of my hands to shield myself. Any contact between this guy and myself was caused by his forward motion against my stationary open hand.
posted by February 19 at 12:21 PMon
I love this—it looks like half-man/half-synth. Hot.
Hey, did you know that Sleepy Eyes of Death are one of our 2008 Young Ones? We think they’re going to have a killer year in 2008—they put on one of the best live shows in Seattle. Who else made our list?
Throw Me the Statue
And don’t forget—Thursday, March 6. Neumo’s and Sole Repair. Young Ones party with many of the 2008 Young Ones (including Sleepy Eyes). Arthur & Yu and Dyme Def headline, and It’s $5 (which will go directly to Real Change).
That’s less than a buck a band. That’s like, seventy-five cents a band, in fact. Or something like that. Math’s dumb. But Jesus christ, those shows will be great. See you there.
posted by February 19 at 11:52 AMon
The Grand Archives are playing the Triple Door tomorrow night, but they’re also playing an in-store at Sonic Boom in Ballard today at 7 pm. It’s free. You can read an interview with Mat Brooke here.
So you go from your EP to your first show to signing with Sub Pop to a tour with Modest Mouse in, what, a year? How did you keep from losing your shit doing all that?
What do you mean by losing your shit [laughs]?
Well, it’s all happening very quickly…
Yeah, but I didn’t have much time off between Band of Horses and Grand Archives, just like there wasn’t too much time between Carissa’s Wierd and Band of Horses. It just felt natural getting back on the road and playing shows. Granted, it wasn’t the best feeling in the world not knowing how to play the songs and playing them before 3,000 Modest Mouse fans, but are you going to say, “No, we don’t want to go on tour with Modest Mouse?” No. You get out there and be ready, whether or not you really like it.
Right now you’re very much the focus of attention in the band…
D. Black, Jay Barz, Grynch, GMK, Neema of Unexpected Arrival, Kublakai, DJ Money D,DJ Swervewon, and DJ Marc Sense are at Chop Suey (and it’s free).
St. Vincent and Foreign Born are at Neumo’s (and it’s $12).
And (Hed)pe are at Studio Seven. Remember them? Yeah, I don’t either.
posted by February 19 at 11:44 AMon
A hiphop that aspires for the national stage is a hiphop that must dilute its substance. We can see an example of this in Black Eyed Peas: the substance of their hiphop at the local, LA, level is not the same as their hiphop at a national level. And the group made the transition from one to the other with the understanding that a local form of hiphop can not survive in that state on the national stage. So, a truth: you can have static and innovative hiphop at a local level; you can only have static hiphop on a national level.
Also, the transition from rapper/DJ mode to the rapper/beat market system results from the movement that leaves the local for the national. Hiphop, then, can not in all honesty (or in a state of honesty) be national; its home can only be local. Even a group like Common Market, which focuses on global issues and parallels its political views with those of the global justice movement, is still local because the political views the duo represents dominate the liberal and progressive discourses of its city or region.
Finally, hiphop can not happen in an arena; it is a music for basements and clubs. The national and mega concerts empty the music to such an extent that, as is the case of Kanye Omari West, it is not hiphop anymore.
The principles: keep local and keep the crowds small. Only listen to local hiphop (by local, I mean hiphop that is made with the local in mind), and stay away from mega shows. Think of the local as a storefront church; and the national as a megachurch.
The more you apply these principles, the closer you will be to the truth of hiphop. And hiphop, like all other cultural practices, has its truths.
(In the image is Jace of SLP)
posted by February 19 at 11:21 AMon
The grand opening line-up for “Seattle’s newest nightclub, live music venue and home for rock & roll”:
Thursday, February 28
3 Inches of Blood
Book of Black Earth
Doors 8pm, Show at 9pm
Friday, February 29
Rain City Shwillers
Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm
Saturday, March 1
Doors at 8pm, Show at 10pm
Sunday, March 2
Super-secret surprise guest DJs!
Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm
posted by February 19 at 11:16 AMon
The house sat on the corner of 24th and Phinney in Seattle. It was a perfectly nice house, but its days were numbered—it was empty, just waiting for the day it would be destroyed. But before it met its demise, the house would be home to the Seattle installment of Burn to Shine, a documentary project started by Christoph Green and Fugazi’s Brendan Canty.
Burn to Shine goes from city to city and finds a house or a building that’s scheduled to be knocked off the face of the earth. Then a film crew and a slew of musicians move in for the afternoon, fill the room with music, and film the whole thing. Seattle’s line-up, currated by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, features performances by Spook the Horse, Tiny Vipers, Eddie Vedder, Minus the Bear, the Cave Singers, Triumph of Lethargy…, the Blue Scholars and more. It doesn’t represent every corner of Seattle’s music scene, but then again, they only had a day.
All the footage shot in and around this doomed house is beautiful—the colors are slightly muted and there are a lot of tight, shallow-focused shots of staircases, doorways, cabinets, instruments, and faces.
To open, Spook the Horse performs “Another New Year” which spins into this delightful jam session reminiscent of what Built to Spill is wont to do. Then Harvey Danger performs my favorite Harvey Danger song to date, “Little Round Mirrors.” Jacob Hoffman of the Lashes (and about 500 other local bands) plays French horn, and in the middle of the song, the band spontaneously bursts into a minute of “Paradise City.” It’s awesome.
Tiny Vipers’ performance of “On This Side” is stunning. The shots of her alone with her guitar in an empty living room—a living room that probably won’t exist in just hours—makes for one of the more touching moments in the documentary.
As the day continues, Minus the Bear perform “Arctic Nights,” the Cave Singers perform “Called” (and it’s one of the best performances on the disc with some of the best shots), Kinski play “Crybaby Blowout” (and nail it), and the sun starts to set during the Can’t See’s performance of “Barfight.” The day wraps up with Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter playing “The Air is Thin.”
When the music is over, it’s time for the destruction. Burn to Shine traditionally destroys the house at the end of the film—fire, sledgehammers, whatever—and I couldn’t wait to see it come crashing down with the memories of the music that was just captured inside. But this is Seattle. Seattle is too polite. Seattle is boring. So instead of destroying the house, they just moved it down the street.
THE JUST MOVED IT DOWN THE STREET?
So the house still stands. That living room that Tiny Vipers played in, the one that was supposed to crash to ground just hours later, is still a living room. Someone’s probably sitting it in right now. It didn’t Burn to Shine, it… Moved Down the Street to Shine. Which isn’t nearly as exciting. Still, it’s a beautiful DVD, and a good representation of a moment in time—what Seattle’s music community looked like (so many beards) and sounded like. Next time, though, I want a little more punk rock, a little more party, and a lot more fire.
posted by February 19 at 10:19 AMon
The publishers of No Depression magazine—Grant Alden, Peter Blackstock, and Kyla Fairchild, all of whom have deep roots in Seattle—announced today that the magazine, dedicated to “surveying the past, present, and future of American music,” will cease publication with its 75th issue, the May-June 2008 edition.
On a personal note, as a longtime contributor to ND, this is… well, devastating. In an era when most magazines opt for a big photo and a short blurb, and call that a “feature,” the generous word counts at roots music bible No Depression permitted me to write some of my favorite longform stories, including in-depth ruminations on Sufjan Stevens, Robyn Hitchcock, and Carolyn Mark. They gave regional artists like Sera Cahoone and Tucker Martine well-deserved national coverage early in their careers.
Most importantly, they opened the door for some of my most-treasured memories as a writer: Being serenaded in a cab by Academy Award-nominated Nashville star Ronee Blakley; rubbing elbows with Rodney Crowell backstage at the Ryman Auditorium; stopping for the best roadside burgers ever with the Handsome Family somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico; and swapping quips with legends like Solomon Burke, Nathaniel Meyer, and, most recently, the Collins Kids.
They were also remarkably prompt in payment for submissions and paid a very fair rate. And, Lord knows, nobody at Rolling Stone or Details even stuck a note of compliment or gratitude in my paycheck like Mary at ND did from time to time.
Full press release, including a lengthy and thoughtful statement from the publishers, after the cut. And now, if you’ll excuse me, in the words of Willie Nelson, I’ll take this opportunity to cry.
posted by February 19 at 9:50 AMon
Kirk Huffman sang barefoot to a sold out all ages Triple Door last night as Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground let fly their entire full length album’s worth of songs in order from front to back. Kay Kay producer, Tom Pfaeffle ran the board and rendered a pristine and crystal live sound. Surprised by the turnout, Huffman said, “I thought we’d be playing for ten people. This is the greatest night of my life.”
The players sliced out the orchestration of the songs and delivered a show. The set cut and sprang. Parts of songs modulated and reappeared later. The pop cantata was performed. Thomas Hunter’s solos struck with calculated boiling points and Phil Peterson’s falsetto was so laser on in the epic “Birds (On a Day Like Today)”, it sounded like a moog synth. The sing along chorus cycled with horn runs and the band of eleven fired unified shots, “Gotta get out, gotta get out today.” They extended a couple sections instrumentally and the reggae influence was definitely etched.
Josh Tillman opened with a warm but chilling acoustic set a la Nick Drake.
A grand evening of (self) release it was. The four-sided vinyl was available with a special limited edition silk screened cover. (This one signed):
Kay Kay Players (left to right in picture at the top of the post):
JJ Jang – violin, Phil Peterson – electric cello, Victoria Parker – violin, Robert Parker – trumpet, Jacob Hoffman – French horn, Kirk Huffman, Garrett Lunceford – drums, Racheal Huffman – backing vox, Nate Mooter – bass, Kyle O’Quin – keys, Thomas Hunter – guitar.
posted by February 19 at 9:11 AMon
Grooverider, the BBC host and DJ recently arrested in Dubai for possesion of two joints worth of weed has today been sentenced to four years in jail.
From Resident Advisor:
BBC1 radio host and drum’n’bass DJ Grooverider has been sentenced to four years in prison in Dubai for cannabis possession.
The sentence, which is the minimum for drug possession in the United Arab Emirates, was handed down in court yesterday.
Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, was arrested for possession of pornography and drugs shortly after arriving at Dubai Airport on November 23, 2007 after 2.16 grams of cannabis was found in a trouser pocket in his luggage. The pornography charges were later dropped.
Earlier this month, Bingham admitted in court that the marijuana, the equivalent of two joints, was his, but said he had forgotten it was there. In his defence, Bingham’s lawyers argued that the DJ had no knowledge of Dubai’s strict laws regarding marijuana possession.
This latest sentence follows that of a British woman who was also sentenced to four years on February 6, 2008 for possession of 0.34 grams of marijuana. The UAE has been cracking down on drug smuggling by installing new drug detection equipment in its airports, according to UAE newspaper 7Days.
posted by February 18 at 6:23 PMon
Marilyn Manson plays tonight at the Paramount. There’s already a line outside almost two blocks long. There’s also three or four protesters taunting the showgoers about how they’re going to hell and supporting the devil by going to the show. The kids are taunting back. One girl grabbed her friend and started pretending like she was fucking him the ass in front of the guy holding this sign. He wasn’t pleased.
posted by February 18 at 5:18 PMon
This time last year, The Stranger compiled a list of great, up-and-coming bands and called them the Young Ones—bands who were new to the scene or hadn’t gotten much press but were destined for big things in the coming year. We’re doing it again for 2008.
Maybe you’ve heard of these acts before—we’ve written about most of them in the past year—but 2008 is their year to blow up.
To celebrate these bands, we’re throwing a party—a cheap night of music spread across two venues featuring almost every single Young One. On Thursday, March 6, Neumo’s and Sole Repair will host performances by Throw Me the Statue, Truckasauras, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Talbot Tagora, the Physics, the Moondoggies, and even a surprise guest. To cap everything off, we’re bringing back a couple of last year’s Young Ones—Dyme Def and Arthur & Yu—both of whom had stellar years in 2007.
Here’s the best part (yes, there’s more): Entrance to all the evening’s action costs only $5, which is a suggested donation that will go directly to benefit Real Change.
The March 6 issue of The Stranger will feature full write-ups on each of the artists we picked, but until then, click over to our Young Ones website for MP3s and videos. We’ll be featuring each band here on Line Out as the showcase gets closer.
So without further ado, 2008’s Young Ones:
Throw Me the Statue
Throw Me the Statue started as Scott Reitherman’s solo project, but has since grown into a five-piece band boasting four-part harmonies, melodica, and glockenspiel on top of the regular combo of guitars and drums. Their bright sound has hints of Of Montreal, the Microphones, and the Promise Ring, and they’re fast becoming known for energetic live shows where band members play musical chairs—each taking a turn at various instruments throughout the set.
So much more than alt-country, the Moondoggies’ soulful back-country blues summons the feel-good, live-free vibes of acts like the Byrds and the Band with memorable hooks that burst from every song by way of three-part harmonies and a roaring Rhodes piano.
Sleepy Eyes of Death
Sleepy Eyes of Death are as much a visual experience as they are an aural one. At live shows, carefully placed spotlights fade in and out of glowing red, blue, and yellow, while two smoke machines fill the room. The music shifts from intense and chaotic to fluid and melodic—live drumming and guitar pound through electronic atmospheres created by vintage analog synths and rare vocoded vocals.
Talbot Tagora are the youngest Young Ones this year. The Eastside/Seattle trio layer disjointed guitar riffs and nervous rhythms, recalling the postpunk garble of Unwound or Erase Errata as much as the current art-noise spasms of bands like L.A.’s No Age.
PWRFL Power, the solo project of Kaz Nomura, had a great year last year. He won a slot at the Capitol Hill Block Party and a guest appearance in an Esurance commercial (which should be airing soon). But with his debut record coming out this spring on Portland’s Slender Means Society, 2008 should be PWRFL Power’s biggest year yet.
The Pharmacy have been around longer than perhaps any other bands on this list, having started in 2001. But 2008 stands to be their breakout year. The band have a new album, Choose Your Own Adventure, coming out February 28 on local indie label Don’t Stop Believin’. They’ve also finally settled into a solid lineup and become a band you can take seriously—now you know they’ll show up for the shows that they book—without losing their DIY charm.
In 2007, the Physics impressed the local hiphop scene with their debut, Future Talk, a collection of hiphop tracks that are light and smooth but still boast plenty of energy. MC Thig Natural and DJ Jus D’Amato mix mellow funk loops with conversational flow, resulting in the laidback sound and good vibes of tracks like “Natural” and “Town Talk pt 1.”
Truckasauras craft compelling yet playful techno tracks armed with an arsenal of electronic noisemakers—vintage Roland drum machines, synthesizers, a first-generation Game Boy. The band’s sense of humor comes through during the live set when they perform in front of projections of classic WWF matches and monster-truck rallies.
posted by February 18 at 4:11 PMon
If you didn’t already know, Brad Neely is a funny, funny man.
posted by February 18 at 1:45 PMon
The song that the Music Slut linked to, “Pieces,” is a weird kind of not-song, and not at all the sort of thing I’m usually into. I can’t stop thinking about it, though, and the more I hear it, the better it gets.
The artists listed as influences—Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and so on—are there, but I also keep hearing something that nobody else is mentioning: I think Miwagemini sounds like Siouxsie Sioux run through a turn-of-the-century folk group. She—they?—will be playing in Olympia on April 5th, in Vancouver on the 6th, and…in Portland on the 9th. Maybe somebody should book her (them?) in Seattle for one of those days in between. I’d be really curious to see what the crowd at a Miwagemini show looks like.
posted by February 18 at 1:42 PMon
I went to see the Foals and Sleepy Eyes of Death at Chop Suey on Satruday night. They were both good, but the band in between them, the Heavenly States, not so much. A friend and I were talking about someone we know who would charitably describe even the worst record as having “a couple good songs.” Though their live show was a drag, the Heavenly States’ Delay isn’t the worst record ever—despite the singer’s unfortunate tendency to split the difference between Art Alexakis and John Cougar Mellencamp—charitably, it has “a couple good songs.” One of those songs is opener “Morning Excercise,” which finds the band recalling far superior touchstones. The circular, repetitious chorus is total Promise Ring, but the raw, emotional growl of the lines, “It hurts so bad/this goes on the record/this goes on the record, it hurts so bad,” reminded me a little (just a little) of Archers of Loaf’s awesome debut Icky Mettle
I realized that I hadn’t listened to the record in years, save for hearing it by chance one night on the Redwood’s jukebox. Turns out, it’s still great, save for maybe the (plumb) line, “She’s an indie rocker/etc…” from “Plumb Line.” “Web in Front” may be one of the best kick offs to an indie rock record ever, with its inscrutable but catchy lyrics and its shaky guitar groove. “Toast” is bizarrely epic. “You and Me” is brutal. The whole album is the kind of tenuous combination of tough and tender that bands were pulling off in the 90s all the time, but that seems to have splintered into distinctly “wussy” and “macho” camps these days. I really wish I was more into Crooked Fingers.
posted by February 18 at 1:15 PMon
Sorry, Jeff, but I have to disagree with about Neurosis’ set needing a bong and a couch. Granted, I wasn’t rapt for every moment of their set, but the combination of the packed room’s humid heat, the slow-churning ambient metal, the seismic bass vibrations, and their slow-motion explosion/decay film loops made Neurosis a total sweat-lodge trance even without the pot. I’d take their show over chaotic, dog-piling hardcore any day.
posted by February 18 at 12:39 PMon
A recap of night one can be found here. The highlights from night two:
Akimbo did an amazing job opening the show. They seemed to revel in the sold out crowd instead of slinking away from it, giving an exceptional performance. They sounded fuller through the Neumos sound system than I had ever heard them. My one beef: why can’t Seattle learn how to dance to their shit? Everyone just kind of stood there, and I wanted to scream at them, “Shake around! Why doesn’t this make you want to move?”
The intensity brought forth by a band does indeed have something to do with how much is being given to them. Converge gave a great performance to a mostly motionless 21+ crowd; they gave an incredible performance to the giant crowd of kids losing their minds in the enormous circle pit. Their set was virtually the same both nights, but the reaction it invoked from the all ages crowd was wildly different. When “Plagues” kicked in the whole floor exploded. It was phenomenal. There are few if any metal bands of Converge’s caliber still around. I haven’t been at a show this emotionally charged in a long time.
As for Neurosis… the same thing I said about night one. More weed, more couch.
posted by February 18 at 12:25 PMon
There was old Van Halen footage playing on the screen hanging in front of the stage when I walked into the Sunset. Jimmy Flame & the Sexxy Boys were setting up behind it, strumming the guitars and banging the bass drum for soundcheck. The room was far from packed, but about an hour into the first installment of Sunday Bloody Sunset there was still a big enough crowd to fill every seat and barstool in the room and keep the bartender busy.
The Sunset was decorated for a party—red balloons were hung up on the walls and scattered across the floor. People kicked them out of the way as they made their way from the stage to the bar and back. There were little piles of colorful streamers from those bottle poppers stuck to the carpet, and the host, Johnny Skolfuk (I think it was Johnny), was running around in light up glasses almost as cool as Kanye’s at the Grammy’s.
Jimmy Flame play straight ahead rock and roll—think AC/DC, Kiss, anything with guitar solos and attitude. They sound good for what they do, but my only complaint is that they don’t move enough. When a band’s playing balls to the wall rock anthems, I wanna see some dancing and some shaking. I want to see ridiculous faces during guitar solos and synchronized moves during drum breakdowns. Jimmy Flame didn’t have much of that at all. But then, about three songs in, I found out why. During a guitar solo Jimmy passionately fell to his knees… and unplugged his guitar. Short cord syndrome. Gotta work on that.
Next up, after a brief intermission of nothing, was Thee Sgt. Major III. They were exactly what I didn’t know I needed to hear on Sunday afternoon—loud power pop with strong male/female harmonies and killer drumming by way of Mike Musburger (of the Posies). Kurt Bloch was on guitar and he played the whole set in a sport coat and ruffled tuxedo shirt. Leslie Beattie and Bill Coury’s harmonies were like Matt Sharp and Petra Hayden on a good day, but Bloch’s guitar-shredding was much more enthusiastic than the Rentals’ could ever be.
The band was having so much fun on stage—the crowd watching them was full of smiles. They clapped and shook tambourines (even threw one out to the audience)—it was explosive energy from note one. During their whole set, they also made mentions of the mystery guest still yet to play. Someone suggested that it was going to be Zeke. With Kurt Bloch already there, I wondered if it’d be the Fastbacks. I scanned the crowd throughout the show, looking for the presence of rockstars who might give it away, but recognized no one, and continued to enjoy Thee Sgt. Major III’s set.
When they finished, the crowd begged for more. I was more excited for who’d be coming up next, though. For about 10 minutes, nothing happened—no one came out to tear down the stage, no one showed up with guitars or drums or keyboards… turns out, there was no mystery guest. With that, Sunday Bloody Sunset’s kick-off party ended on an anti-climactic note.
But they did have donuts. And donuts are delicious.
posted by February 18 at 11:08 AMon
(feat. members of Implied Violence and the Dead Science)
posted by February 18 at 10:53 AMon
Explaining to MTV why he’s supporting Obama:
It’s been sad for me, but I’ve had a real problem being able to get behind Senator Clinton in any real way, particularly over the last couple months. Six months ago, I would’ve told you I would’ve been thrilled to cast my vote for her, but the way her campaign has unfolded is so wrong to me. The mailers that have gone out in a couple of the primaries calling into question Obama’s record on choice are particularly phony, and for her to try to attack him over that is counterproductive for politics; it’s counterproductive to the cause. In policy terms, she’s an excellent leader, but I feel that the way she’s playing this game is so old, and the rulebook she’s drawing from is so outdated, that it isn’t translating to me, it’s alienating to me.
posted by February 18 at 10:30 AMon
posted by February 18 at 10:06 AMon
For a split second, I thought the cover of the 1999 Vintage edition of Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus : The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend …
…was of this man:
…Almost, but it’s not Bill Evans. However, the matching of Evans’ image with Mann’s fictional musician and genius, Adrian Leverkuhn, would not have been totally wrong. Though Evans is much closer to Debussy than Arnold Schoenberg (the man who inspired Mann’s character), his music possesses the kind of intellectual depth and pull we feel when reading Mann’s novel. A novel, by the way, that is greatly admired by a circle of black American jazz musicians and writers that had its peak in the late ’80s and has Albert Murray as its leading intellectual and Wynton Learson Marsalis as its leading celebrity.
posted by February 18 at 9:39 AMon
Update: That Last Day Sale at Sonic Boom Fremont is 50% off everything used & 30% off everything new (except things that are already on sale).
Nabil Ayers says:
Thanks for 10+ great years and see you in Ballard & Capitol Hill.
photo: Bill Anthony
In a comment from this weekend ‘Pooper’ said:
OMG, a record store is going out of business!!! Oh wait - that happens all the time, because we have the internet now. Anybody running a record store now who doesn’t expect to be forced into shutting down in the next 5 years should be given a Gold Star for Baseless Optimism.
Fremont’s got more character than the rest of the city has in its big toe. I really doubt the passing of one record shop heralds the coming of the condo antichrist. (Not that he isn’t coming, of course…)
Pooper, you see, sometimes people fall in love with record stores. For those who had fallen in love with the Fremont Sonic Boom as a place to physically be while browsing and buying music, please, let us mourn.
posted by February 18 at 9:18 AMon
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground plays tonight at the Triple Door. Trent Moorman wrote about the band in this week’s paper:
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground- A Stranger Exclusive
“We wanted something different to be the centerpiece of the band, so we came up with this fictional character, Kay Kay,” says lead vocalist and guitarist Huffman. “I could sing about falling in love, being on the road in this band, playing shows, being stuck in a van for five years on this big label (Fearless), and how now I’m serving you hash browns at Glo’s. But Kyle and I just had this idea for something bigger.”
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - “Tha Crossroads”
(Neumo’s) Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, during the heart of the G-funk era, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are perhaps the most singular and unusual group to have sprung from the strange and fertile world of ’90s hiphop. Their first two albums yielded a string of genre-redefining hits, and their interval toggling, singsongy flow has become a rarely acknowledged template for recent work by everyone from Usher to Akon, Mariah Carey to R. Kelly. Ultimately, though, their greatest characteristic is a penchant for baroque weirdness that vastly exceeds the occasional gothic leanings of their contemporaries/collaborators Tupac and Biggie. They are truly inscrutable, from their insane adaptation “Carol of the Bones” (sample lyric: “Bone, bone, bone, bone”) to the druidic figures, fake tress, and horse-drawn carriage of their seminal ‘96 VMA performance of “Tha Crossroads.” And, though last year’s comeback shot “Strength & Loyalty” suffers from some radio-baiting schlockiness, the ruggish thugs remain some of the deftest and most thrilling MCs in the game. SAM MICKENS
Marilyn Manson - “The Nobodies”
Marilyn Manson (Paramount) Marilyn Manson has a beautiful voice and should croon more than yell. That’s my only criticism. Otherwise his bubble-gum satanist cabaret pop is worthy of his bipsychual moniker. His killer sexy rock numbers—early rave-ups like the perfect “Cake and Sodomy” from his shock-the-Christian-Coalition ’90s repertoire to “The Nobodies” from his later postglam ruminations—are overlooked gems from the lairs of American underworld history. JOSH FEIT
posted by February 18 at 9:00 AMon
The store will be open today from 10 am to 10 pm—everything is 30-50% off.
posted by February 17 at 4:36 PMon
Congratulations to the Nextdoor Neighbors! The young ladies from Olympia charmed the panel of judges with their playful, lo-fi pop songs and earned a spot at the Sound Off! finals.
Pat Goodwin impressed too—he walked away with the evening’s “Audience Response Award.”
The finals are March 1st at the EMP|SFM Skychurch. The Nextdoor Neighbors and New Faces will play with next weekend’s winner.
posted by February 17 at 4:25 PMon
Then head to the Sunset, my friends, for the very first Sunday Bloody Sunset (it started at 4, but there’s still plenty of music/comedy/alcohol to enjoy):
Featuring 2 SPECIAL MYSTERY HEADLINERS!, Thee Sgt Major 3, Jimmy Flame & The Sexxy Boys, The Brown Stripes, The White Strokes + film, comedy and variety, $3 BLOODY MARYS + Mimosas! $2 PBRs! Hosted by Johnny Skolfuk -$5
I think I’m gonna head over there in a few minutes myself… seeing as how it’s a block away from me and all.
posted by February 17 at 3:58 PMon
posted by February 17 at 3:41 PMon
Converge and Neurosis play again at Neumo’s tonight—Akimbo opens.
And the Drive-By Truckers are playing their second night at the Showbox at the Market.
Drive-By Truckers, the Felice Brothers
(Showbox at the Market) About this time last year, Athens, Georgia, rockers Drive-By Truckers parted ways with their longtime guitarist and co- songwriter Jason Isbell. A lesser blow has destroyed many a band, but the sextet carried on as a quintet, and while the band claimed they were going to take some time to reconnect with themselves and their music, they instead got right back into things with a new record. On Brighter than Creation’s Dark, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley tended to most of the songwriting and Shonna Tucker makes a few strong appearances as lead vocalist. “3 Dimes Down” is a dirty, Southern-rock anthem replete with guitar solos; “The Righteous Path” has a poppier sound with a little twang and late-’70s Tom Petty vibe; “Self Destructive Zones” mellows out with some keyboard and acoustic guitar and the most country-flavored vocals on the entire disc. There’ll be a lot of beer and a lot of beards in tonight’s crowd—and even hardcore fans of Isbell-era Drive-By Truckers shouldn’t be disappointed with the band’s new effort. MEGAN SELING
posted by February 17 at 1:00 PMon
I heard most of A Storm of Light’s set standing in a line outside of Neumos waiting to get in. Hey everybody, see those signs posted all over the doorway that say, “Tonight’s Show is Sold Out. No Tickets Will Be Given at the Door”? Yeah, that means you aren’t getting in unless you already bought tickets. Don’t stand in the one line and keep everybody else from getting in because you’re pretty sure you can convince the door man to let you squeeze through, or because you just don’t want to believe the sign until you’ve waited in line for 20 minutes. When I finally did get inside it was clear this was the opener chosen by Neurosis. They were slow and heavy, and sounded like Isis with Gregorian chanting. I got to hear one song before they finished.
Converge opened with “Plagues,” one of the heaviest and most brutal songs they have ever written. It starts with a guitar riff that sounds like a chainsaw, and when the band kicks in it feels like they’re using that chainsaw to cut off limbs. Their set was mixture of songs from their last three releases, not going any farther back than Jane Doe. Although the energy was high in the front half of the floor it was clear that a lot of the people there had come to see Neurosis. The pit was relatively small and contained, but that’s what you can expect from a 21+ crowd. Old folks don’t care to throw down on the floor like the young’ns do. Seeing as this was a more mature audience, much of which had come to see a different kind of metal act, they chose to close their set with the 12 minute epic finale “Jane Doe,” an unexpected treat since the band almost never plays it live anymore.
There was a pretty hilarious moment in the set when a fan started yelling out “Give it up for Boston!” (where the band is from). Singer Jake Bannon replied, “Yeah, Boston’s alright. I’ve lived there a long time. It’s expensive and kind of shitty. I think Seattle’s better.” Several people in the crowd started shouting “Seattle! Seattle!” to which the band responded with the opening riff of “Outshined.” As much as Seattle fans usually loathe being reminded of grunge fame by touring bands I thought this was hilarious. Mostly I was just glad they played a Soundgarden riff instead of a Nirvana one.
If Converge is the thrill of a predator hunting and killing its prey, Neurosis is the part where it sits down and slowly eats the raw carcass. The band usually plays to a video projection behind them – my brother always told me stories of seeing them at the Firehouse 10 years ago when their video just kept repeating a guy shooting himself in the face. The video and musical choices of Neurosis have definitely changed in the last decade. Their slow, brooding doom metal is night and day from what Converge is putting out there, and after such a high energy show I had a hard time wanting to just stand still and take it all in. Their video had images of animals decomposing, trees falling over, flowers wilting, the earth coming apart at it’s seems. It was all very metal, but it was slow, deliberate metal. I just kept thinking, “I would be so much more into this with some weed and a couch.”
Outside I found two true super fans, Chris and Clyle, who had been sitting on the wall listening to the show since they were not of age. Even though they are going to tonight’s show they still sat out in the cold to hear the first night. You boys win the Metal Spirit Award. Congratulations.
Tonight the opener has been chosen by Converge, and it is our own local beer vikings Akimbo. This should prove for a much more active 2/3 of the show, and the fact that it’s all ages means the floor should be ape-shit. If you want to go to this show you should definitely buy your tickets before it’s time to line up at the door. Otherwise your ass will be out of luck.